ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – American amateur Bryson DeChambeau birdied two of his first three holes on Saturday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and overcame a balky driver for a second-round 72 and a share of second place.
DeChambeau will be paired with leader Andy Sullivan and world No. 3 Rory McIlroy when the fog-delayed third round gets underway. It will be the first time the 22-year-old will play with the Northern Irishman.
“It’s fun. I like to play the golf course, I don’t like playing people, I see a number out there and I’m like, ‘Alright I can do that,’” said DeChambeau, who is two strokes behind Sullivan.
DeChambeau said he briefly met McIlroy during last year’s U.S. Open, “I actually gave him my spot at Chambers Bay on the range,” he said.
McIlroy seemed to take a bit more interest in DeChambeau, who uses a unique set of irons that are all the same length (37 ½ inches) and have the same lie angle.
“This morning I was having a little go with his clubs; he doesn’t know that,” McIlroy said. “It’s a technique that’s all his own. He’s obviously a really good player.”